There are many important choices facing Minnesota voters in 2012. Minnesota will help choose the US president and will also elect a US Senator, as well as eight members of the United States Congress, 67 members of the Minnesota Senate, and 134 members of the Minnesota House to districts with new boundaries due to redistricting. There will also be many county, municipal, and school offices up for election. As a college student living in Minnesota, you can choose to have a voice in these elections.
Decide Where You ResideYou can only vote from the address where you "reside." Your residence is the place you consider your home, from which you have no current intent to move. As a college student, if you consider your campus residence as your home, you may vote at that address. If you consider your parents’ residence, or some other address as your home, you must vote from that address. You can only vote from one address in each election.
Register to Vote Once you’ve decided which address is your residence, you can register to vote. To pre-register, download a Voter Registration Application at www.mnvotes.org and return it in person or by mail to your local election official at least 21 days before Election Day (before July 24 for the August 14, 2012 primary, and before October 16 for the November 6, 2012 general election). You may also register on Election Day at your polling place.
Voting AbsenteeIf you are going to be somewhere other than your residence on Election Day, you can still vote by absentee ballot. To vote absentee, download and complete the absentee ballot application and return it to your county auditor. You may instead choose to vote absentee in person at your county auditor's or city clerk's office. Our Absentee Voting page has more details about these options.
If you are going to be out of the country or studying abroad on the day of the elections, you can still vote in Minnesota. Visit the Minnesota Military and Overseas Voter Service for information and resources related to overseas voting. You can even receive your ballot by e-mail. However, you will need to print it out and send a hard copy back.
Get Involved As a Minnesota resident, you are eligible and encouraged to serve as an election judge. Election judges are paid to serve in the over 4,100 polling places in Minnesota. Serving as an election judge is a great way to get involved with the electoral process and make a difference in your community.
The Office of the Secretary of State conducts many outreach activities for students including first time voter workshops and campus visits with the Secretary of State. To host a visit or a workshop call our offices at 651-201-1339.
DownloadKnow Your Student Voting Rights (pdf)
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